Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX 76244-0425
Books for Pirate Apprentices and Young Adults
Keeper of the Island
by H. J. Ralles
Top Publications, April 2007, ISBN 978-1-929976-39-3, $10.95
Nauseous and disoriented, Matt finds himself locked in the brig of a seventeenth-century pirate ship. His primary goals are to locate his friends and retrieve his computer, which will aid him in solving this latest mystery. The evil and greedy Captain Scarr releases him with a warning Ė get off the ship with the last tourist or else. Matt yearns to obey, but he needs the computer. Achieving that task will require ingenuity, daring, and luck. In the meantime, in the guise of one of the pirates, Matt discovers the pirate ship isnít really a tourist attraction and heís actually in the twenty-sixth century. It provides the camouflage for modern pirates who prey on cruise ships using submarines. Somehow, Matt has to stop them.
His friends, Varl and Targon, awake on a tropical island. They trail two pirates to an ancient pyramid. Targon ventures inside and finds this is where the pirates hide their treasure and that the spirit of Queen Elena guards the lair. After the pirates leave, he sees something more sinister hidden within the pyramid, but before he can learn what it is, the pirates return and push Varl down the steps. Targon canít help his friend, so he searches for others who can. He meets a young girl named Gabriela. Together they return to the pyramid only to discover that Varl has disappeared. Gabriela suggests they ask her father, the Mayor of Moji, for his assistance. While he seems willing to help, Targon senses that Gabrielaís father isnít being honest. Targon fears for Varlís safety and, with or without Gabrielaís help, he intends to search for his missing friends, even if he must die in the trying.
This is the fifth book in The Keeper series, and it is a captivating futuristic adventure for young adults. H. J. Ralles deftly weaves sinister pirates, a tropical island, and ancient pyramids with the struggle that pits good against evil and where Matt, Varl, and Targon must puzzle out who they can trust and who they canít. While the reader knows the friends play a computer game, the danger and malevolence come across as real threats. Uncovering the truth becomes paramount to surviving the game. Ralles has a good grasp of the world of modern pirates and how they differed from their brethren of the past. Keeper of the Island is a rousing escapade fraught with danger and friendship that snares the reader into the game and leaves him or her spellbound.
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Book Review Copyright ©2006 Cindy Vallar
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